Seed choice, innovation, and value chain engagement are pillars of a farmer-driven climate change agenda 

Geneva, Switzerland, 27 September 2022The World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) and the International Seed Federation (ISF) today formalized an alliance to put farmers front and center in the transition towards sustainable and climate-resilient food systems. 

ISF reaffirmed its support to “The Climakers” initiative for the next two years, which will gather and scientifically validate on-the-ground practices by farmers to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Workshops will be held in multiple regions (Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean) to build the knowledge base, relying on farmers’ practical experience in the field which could be replicated and scaled up on a broader level. 

The private seed sector’s main preoccupation is to support farmers in finding the most suitable solution to the challenges they face every day. Improved plant varieties that are locally adapted to farmers’ needs enable them to harvest better yields amidst the pressure of climate change and limited resources. The seed sector can only succeed if the relationship with the farmers is based on trust and the use of quality seed provides them a sustainable positive outcome,” said Michael Keller, ISF Secretary General. 

We are delighted to continue our solid partnership with the International Seed Federation to cooperate globally and implement win-win actions toward sustainability. Such partnerships are essential for farmers to have the means to keep on feeding the world by fostering their farm productivity while protecting biodiversity and coping with the impacts of climate change,” said Arnold Puech d’Alissac, WFO President. 

A 2021 survey by WFO showed that 82% of farmers considered new improved varieties as important to respond to climate change and for sustainability in the food systems. 

Additionally, WFO and ISF will jointly implement activities to support innovation and engagement within the agri-food value chain in the form of knowledge building, advocacy, and promoting farmer-driven innovative practices.  

The Climakers will be present in the COP27 meetings (6-18 November, Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt), among many other international fora, to ensure that farmers’ voices are heard in policy debates on the nexus between food and climate.